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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Ethics of Blogging

You wouldn't think something as simply complex as blogging would evoke moral complications, would you?
I wish it wouldnt' sometimes. But the other side of the coin says yes, yes I do. Our morals and ethics is what makes us different and interesting. Even people within the same belief system have different ideas about the same thing...I think it's because ultimately no one can be 100% right. We are all wrong somewhere...

But the way this applies to blogging for me is, when a tour group asks you not to post bad reviews. I've just been asked that and the question is, is it not a lie to keep the truth from your viewers?

Not saying anything at all is like admitting that the truth isn't prevalent to what you are doing. Why would a place ask me to lie about something that is so opinionated anyway?

The thing that almost angers me more, is the fact of the number of bloggers just going along with it. Why? Why do you do this? Are you afraid of being called out? Are you afraid of discrimination? Are you afraid to take a stand?

I'm foremost appalled at the idea that I would bend my morals for a BLOG for crying out loud. I will post my reviews however I like them! Another question is, do the authors know about such policies? Do they know that the group is demanding only shining reviews? I sure hope they are blissfully ignorant. Otherwise, shame to the instigator as well...I know you want your book to get good reviews, but to be honest, bad review generate as much curiosity as good ones!

I'm finishing up the last tour I have with said group and formally resigning afterwards.

What is your view? What would you sacrifice, or what wouldn't you, for you blog/book? 


  1. A lot of blog tours do this. I personally don't like it, but I still will blog for them. First of all, I don't pick a book to tour if I think I won't like it. Second of all, they all 3 star ratings, and 3 star is generally as low as I go normally. I haven't met an awful book I had to grade a 2-star yet. So as long as it's a three-star, then the company is fine with it.

    I would guess the authors know. Most think that if they pay over 100 dollars for publicity, it should be good publicity. They forget that you are paying for the coordination of multiple blogs being on a schedule to host your book and for the time it takes to do the actual reviews- though it would be nice if tour companies paid the bloggers a portion as well. That's another issue entirely.

    So my moral stand is that I don't agree with it, but I put up with it, and if for some reason I came across a 2-star book, then I would resign from that tour as they asked. I do allow authors to tell me they would rather me not put the review "out there", though as I did spend time on it I try to work with them, without changing the facts of the review, to make it passable to them. So far there haven't been too many problems.

    So honesty above all. If they block out bad reviews, then I won't post a bad review for them, but I'm not going to lie and say I enjoyed a book that I didn't.

  2. I think asking for only positive reviews does the authors on a tour a disservice. I wouldn't want to be part of a group that made that their policy, either - not as a blogger or an author. Mind you, I get that you want the tour to go well, but giving a review copy is NOT currency in any way and should not be treated as such.

    This area has been a topic of conversation at each of the Kidlitosphere Conferences to date, and I imagine it will be at the next one (prolly September in New York). It's something we're all trying to sort out as a lot of this is new terrain... but it's not likely to go away!

  3. I don't do book tours for the reason you mentioned as well as the expected time commitment. As my blog is primarily a hobby, I would rather wait my turn for a library copy than potentially sell my blog's soul for a chance to read a book sooner.

  4. I've never been asked to review positively. But I've only been on two companies tours and they were both legit.

  5. Excellent comments. I'm new to blogger, so I forgot to check :P

    Yeah, I'm trying to find a way to break it cleanly..you know, no bad light for either of us.

  6. It does take an immense amount of time, but I do find it enjoyable. I'm thinking about doing less tours because of the commitment. I usually end up posting a day late because a lot of unexpected things pop up in my life! It would be better if I had scheduled posting but I don't! Thanks for commenting all of you!